The ne plus ultra of Romantic ballet, Giselle has been in the repertoire of The National Ballet of Canada since the 1950s and has always been one of the signature works exemplifying the company’s deep and rich classical legacy. The title role has been a touchstone and one of the great dramatic challenges for generations of ballerinas, partly for the technical demands it poses, but also for the intensity and depth of emotional commitment it requires. In addition to the attraction of its principal roles, the female Corps de Ballet features prominently, too, with the spectral diagonal procession of the Wilis remaining one of the most famous, haunting and moodily evocative images in all of ballet.
Replete with rich psychological and interpretive possibilities as well as thrilling dramatic and technical challenges, Giselle, in all its rapturous, ghostly tragedy, remains one of the great examples of classical narrative ballet, continually revealing fresh aspects of itself to new generations of ballet lovers.
“The National Ballet of Canada’s Giselle is a timeless masterpiece. It is pure classical dancing at its finest.” National Post
“A show that the National Ballet does superbly well… an endless thrill.” —The Globe and Mail
“Of the Romantic Era works in the repertoire of The National Ballet of Canada, Giselle remains the most loved and performed. Its popularity, sustained by a powerful love story of betrayal and redemption, is informed by exquisite choreography and brilliant connection to past glory.” —National Post
“Evocative and beautiful.” —Danceview Times
“★★★★/4 A dance anyone could love... full of the big ballet tricks that thrill the balletomane.” —Toronto Star
Svetlana Lunkina† (June 15 & 18 at 7:30 pm)
Jillian Vanstone (June 16 at 2:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova* (June 16 at 7:30 pm, June 18 at 2:00 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (June 17 at 7:30 pm)
Jurgita Dronina† (June 19 at 2:00 pm)
Harrison James† (June 15 & 17 at 7:30 pm, June 19 at 2:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (June 16 at 7:30 pm, June 18 at 2:00 pm)
Francesco Gabriele Frola* (June 16 at 2:00 pm)
McGee Maddox* (June 18 at 7:30 pm)
† Company Debut
All casting subject to change.
Choreography and Production:
Sir Peter Wright after the choreography of Jean Coralli and Marius Petipa
(Based on the book by Vernoy de Saint-Georges, Gautier and Coralli)
Adolphe Adam, revised by Joseph Horovitz
Set and Costume Design:
Giselle was produced as a memorial to the late William P. Walker and was made possible through the courtesy of many generous friends of the National Ballet.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Giselle Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from Lindsay Fischer, Artistic Director, YOU dance/Ballet Master.
Get more insight into Giselle through our Virtual Museum featuring set and costume sketches, footwear, artifacts and more from the National Ballet Archives.
Classical ballets like Giselle are a testament to the enduring power of the art form. Help support the National Ballet's dedication to performing these great works at the highest standards.
Top image credit: Greta Hodgkinson with Artists of the Ballet in Giselle. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.